21 Innovators on What We’ll Be Doing in 2013

Twenty Innovators on What We’ll Be Doing in 2013What will innovators be doing in 2013? When we asked a sampling of our authors/bloggers/community members, inspiration for the New Year tumbled forth! Thank you for big picture predictions, personal proclamations and some gorgeous wishes. If even 50% of these come true it will make for a great new year.

Scott Bowden

IBM Global Services

1. Innovators Will Be Surfing

I am approaching 2013 like a surfer floating in the ocean scanning the horizon. I am looking for the next big innovation wave to ride, trying to make sense of a churning sea of one wave after another, counting to see which is the seventh wave, which in surfing lore is usually the best to ride. I worry that there is such an intense focus on innovation as a corporate panacea that as a practitioner I might choose a wave that is too big to ride. I have to remind myself that the smaller waves will still get me to the shore and, more importantly, in one piece.

Nicolas Bry

Orange Innovation Group

2. Innovators Will Have Timely Dialogue

I wish Innovation will feature a ‘timely dialogue’ in 2013 involving active co-creation, modular design, sparkling collaboration. This will ensure constant knowledge circulation across the innovation team riding in a collective adventure.

– Timely means to me finding appropriate time to listen to and the tolerance to sometimes not to be listened to!

– Catching the right moment for innovation to connect people, leveraging on digital to deliver a meaningful impact in a humanistic and social approach.

Lea Carey

Principal of TheHealthMaven, LLC,  IX Healthcare Editor

3. Innovators Will Focus on Digital Healthcare around Lifestyle and Wellness

It will be huge in 2013. Consumers will become more engaged in their own healthcare; employers and health plans will continue to search for the secret sauce to keep everyone healthy, reduce healthcare costs, and improve outcomes. Social media will be a key driver to move innovations forward…and forward.

Dean DeBiase

Serial CEO and Chairman of Reboot Partners, Innovation Excellence, Entertainment.com and co-author of The Big Moo with Seth Godin

4. Innovators Will Be Answering to Multinational CEOs and Boards

CEOs and boards will be looking to their chief innovation officers, and key leaders, to move beyond incremental innovation and deliver on creative ideas that reboot slow growth sectors and make more significant impacts to their core business. Three key areas will be 1. Impacting the next generation of global growth with new product, service and customer/client programs; 2. Innovative, lower cost, partnerships the move the needle and their brands into new product/service areas or create entire new market categories altogether; and 3. Innovative ways to restructure the way they operate and deliver value, with systemic changes to the cost side of their business and driving smart/significant efficiencies through deeper adoption of technology, the Internet and social media.

Rowan Gibson

Co-founder of Innovation Excellence and the author of Innovation to the Core

5.  Innovators Will Be Executing

As the field – the business discipline – of Innovation Management continues to evolve in 2013, the general shift will be from idea generation to idea execution. All those ideation sessions, creative competitions and open innovation efforts have already produced scores of potential new opportunities for the organizations involved. Most of them are now struggling to turn at least the most promising of those opportunities into adequately funded and professionally managed projects with enough momentum and political support to stand a good chance of successful commercialization. That’s the challenge – the bottleneck – that is now keeping a lot of highly committed innovation VPs and managers up at night: “Where can I find the money, the people and the time to put behind all these great ideas?” Solving this challenge will be a major focus for organizations in 2013 as they continue their efforts to embed a deep, sustainable capability for innovation excellence.

Judith Glaser

CEO, Benchmark Communications, Inc. & Co-founder at Creating WE Institute and author of six books including TRUST At the Moment of Contact to be published in 2013

6. Innovators Will Be Focusing on Co-creating Conversations

…on changing how we communicate with each other – from power-over to power-with conversations which inspires our aspirational thinking about the future. The more we learn to shape conversational spaces, the more we are able to bring our greatest wisdom and insights into the world. Human beings are designed to co-create. The more we learn about how to shape conversational environments for co-creation, the more we will set the stage for deeper musings, for more profound innovations and for more powerful conversations to emerge around the world. We are now poised to learn, grow and nourish each other’s greatness – co-creating conversations will lead the way.

Neale Godfrey

CEO of Green$treets Inc. Just launched a bestselling App for kids 5-8 that teaches financial and ecological responsibility. Greenstreets: Unleash the Loot! Author of 17 books that deal with money, life skills, and value issues.

7. Innovators Will Keep on Creating the Need

Innovators have to not only react to the needs of the populace, innovators have to actually create the need. True innovators will continue to stay in front of the curve. An innovator has to listen, really listen to their market and collaborate to develop meaningful solutions to problems that heretofore, did not have apparent solutions. 2013 will bring that open, honest dialogue of collaboration to make the world a better place, starting with kids and families.

Paul Hobcraft

Frequent IX contributor and Innovation Knowledge Consultant who divides his time and Innovation Advisory services between Switzerland and Asia.

8. Innovators Will Be Figuring Out the “Power of the Innovation Bubbling Up”

And how to harness these insights into winning products quickly. As we grapple with all the value (and pitfalls) of social media, increasing avenues for our customers to connect and the world of innovators all around us in collaborations and through open innovation, the ability to capture all this open bubbling energy will need new ways to capture and interpret all of this into new offerings that can be channel back down into those meaningful products and services wanted. This will require increasingly nimble organizations, agile, responsive and prepared to invest in this more ‘risky’ and fast changing environment, through new business models and innovation practices.

Joan Holman

Author, Internet Marketing Guru and Book Marketing Diva at Joan Holman Productions and IX Publishing Editor

9. Innovators Will Harness the Explosion in Self Publishing

Disruptive innovation in the publishing industry has created a profound transformation that is shaking the industry to it’s roots and has forever changed how books are produced, distributed and marketed. The stigma of self-publishing will continue to disappear and the shift to self-publishing will accelerate in 2013. Entrepreneurs and innovators will join the new Gold Rush in Indie publishing by providing an array of products and services for the needs of Indie authors that helps them publish  and market better, smarter and more effectively. Opportunities will lie in making books more appealing and more discoverable to target markets, as well as tapping into the fast-growing markets in 2013 for English-language books outside the United States.

Saul Kaplan

Founder and Chief Catalyst Business Innovation Factory and author of The Business Model Innovation Factory: How to Stay Relevant when the World Is Changing

10. Innovators Will Move from Tweaks to Transformation

2012 was great for innovators. Our voice & collaboration muscle got stronger. The big trend now is self-organizing purposeful networks. In 2013 lets put our networks to work to solve the big social challenges we face including education, healthcare and energy. Lets go from tweaks to transformation in 2013.

Braden Kelley

Co-Founder of Innovation Excellence, Pull Marketing Strategist and author of  Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire

11. Innovators Will Be Created and ICE Will Become HOT

More organizations in 2013 will realize that innovators are not born, but created, and that they can take tangible actions to create them. These include leveraging the Nine Innovation Roles framework to build more efficient and effective innovation teams, and training their employees, members, or students to increase their ICE skills:

  • Invention and Insight – Augment your people’s capabilities in the Value Creation component of innovation by focusing on prototyping, ideation tools like SCAMPER, and creative problem solving techniques. Build up your people’s insight capabilities by giving them access to Voice of the Customer data, which is even more plentiful now in this age of social media monitoring, and training them in an insight generation methodology like the Four Lenses of Innovation from Rowan’s book Innovation to the Core.
  • Collaboration and Communication – Improve your people’s communication skills and encouraging collaboration to improve their success at the Value Access and Value Translation components of innovation.
  • Entrepreneurship and Execution – Help your people move from having an idea – to changing the world – by teaching them entrepreneurial and execution fundamentals like conducting a market assessment and feasibility study and the basics of crafting a business case or a business plan. Moving from mind to market is the second key to success in the Value Creation component of innovation.

So if you are not already offering ICE education to your employees, members, or students, it is never too late to start. Who knows, the next innovator you create might cure cancer, end world hunger, or at least help your organization survive, thrive, or possibly help to change the world – for the better. To continue my mission of making innovation insights accessible for the greater good, instead of selling them for a profit, in 2013 I will be making the design for my Nine Innovation Roles cards freely available so that everyone can get card decks printed on demand in the USA or wherever you might be – for only the costs of printing (stay tuned).

Lou Killeffer

IX Marketing Editor and Principal Five Mile River Marketing

12. Innovators Will Bridge the Private and Public Sectors

…in finding new solutions to age-old problems. Policymakers facing waves of escalating troubles will reach out to leading innovation practitioners for aggressively fresh approaches to seemingly intractable issues. Innovators new to public policy, those traditionally trained to create solutions within corporations, will respond; launching a new wave of experiment and possibilities at both the city and state levels. Such a new model will at first be dismissed; then accepted; then applauded.

Patrick Meyer

Business 3.0 expert/advisor to Fortune 500 leaders and emerging mobile/social start-ups, “The CEO Futurist” speaker and author of the new, future-focused insight and innovation book “Steve Jobs & The World of Mobile”

13. Business/Brands Will Finally Wake Up to Mobile as the #1 Business Driver (not just a media-like vehicle)

  • Steve Jobs innovation magic finally surfaces in at least 2 new Apple introductions vs Tim Cook conservative upgrades repeatedly! (Jobs reported 4 year pipeline finally is allowed to come to market, totally new iphone, Apple TV, totally new tablet solution, Apple e-wallet.)
  • “Showrooming” becomes a massive phenomena…every day, every place consumers shop
  • “Tap it” becomes a world unlocking behavior via NFC (say good bye to QR, paper based coupons, even many wallet occasions)
  • Big Data becomes the big deal ( shift from reach/frequency media to ROI focused marketing)
  • Life shifting Baby Boomers re-exert their power (based on dissatisfaction with the coming golden years looking tarnished)
  • Facebook check-in exceeds Google search to upset the digital world (billion users checking in hourly on smartphones)
  • Siri becomes the solution to the text-when-driving crisis and more.
  • Strategic Winners (Amazon.com, Apple, Google, Verizon) and Strategic Losers (Best Buy, Microsoft, ATT, Blackberry) become even more apparent to all

Sarah Miller Caldicott

Great grandniece of Thomas Edison and CEO of Power Patterns of Innovation, and author of Midnight Lunch, Innovate Like Edison and Inventing the Future

14. Innovators Will See the Contributions of Artificial Intelligence to the Innovation Process

With the continued global proliferation of smart devices, as well as expanding linkage between the mainstream Internet and the Industrial Internet (the internet of things), collaboration will become a crucial superskill to harness input from both machines and humans.

Kevin Riley

Principal, Kevin Riley & Associates | Health Model Innovation focusing on helping companies thrive where consumerism and reform-era health care converge

15Innovators Will Focus on Minimalism

Instead of doing more with less – innovators will do less and make more using techniques like minimum viable product. Healthcare will unfortunately still take the opposite approach. I will wait until my 2014 or 2105 prediction of that day.

Wayne Simmons

Co-Founder and CEO of The Growth Strategy Company and co-author of GrowthThinking: Building the New Growth Enterprise

16.  Conventional Innovation Speak Will Become More Precise

We see six types of business innovation – (1) Service Innovation, (2) Strategic Innovation, (3) Business Model Innovation, (4) Customer Innovation, (5) Value Innovation, (6) Design Innovation – offering companies levers that can be deconstructed and reconstructed as part of overall growth strategy.  It will be important to distinguish between them and explain them coherently to all of the stakeholders.

Donna Sturgess

President of Buyology Inc., IX Ideas Editor and Author of Eyeballs Out: How to Step into Another World, Discover New Ideas and Make Your Business Thrive

17. Ideas Will Be Evaluated through Non-Conscious Research

Aggressive companies are already doing it.  The rationale is compelling– greater differentiation among ideas is revealed by tapping the deeper motivations for choice. Innovators will discover significant new insights when they measure consumers’ non-conscious response to their concepts and executions. Continuing to work the same old ways will not do in 2013, as the pressure for growth continues to rise.

Maria B. Thompson

Director of Innovation Strategy, Motorola Solutions

18. Innovators Will Keep Asking the Question –  How Might We Make Everyone in our Corporations Catalysts for Change?

Innovation is just a sexy name for Change Management or Management of Change. We all have creative energies and abilities. We may not know how to unleash or to apply them. In 2013, let’s all make a resolution to embrace change in all its wonder. Let’s not shy away from opportunities or avoid risk-taking. Heck, let’s all take a chance on something new! Like Mahatma Gandhi once said ” Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Steve Todd

EMC Fellow and Director of EMC’s Global Innovation Network

19. High-tech Innovators Will Continue to Focus on Cloud and Security

For the cloud, CIOs will begin deploying software-defined data centers as a strategy to keep costs down and devote more IT budget to innovative output. The rise of software-defined data centers will be accompanied by an increased focus on information security. Information will assume increasing economic value; new software security techniques must be created to protect that value.

Scott Williams

CEO and Founder, Maga Design

20. Innovators Will Insist on Visual Communications

…as the organizational world becomes increasingly visual in its appetites.  CEO’s and their communications’ apparatus will insist on simplified communications for obvious reasons. Pinterest will become a role model. And in a huge stress reliever, when we work and collaborate together, we will also draw together. And we will still depend on maps of all kinds to help us see where we want to go.

Julie Anixter

Executive Editor, Co-Founder Innovation Excellence, Chief Innovation Officer, Maga Design and co-author of The Big Moo with Seth Godin

21. Innovators will Focus on Developing Authentic Relationships

…between brands and consumers, between the environment and the populace, the haves and the have nots and all the aspiration therein, between buyers and sellers, the CEO and their constituent publics, and especially the potential for relationship expressed in the untapped, unmet needs that get expressed every second in the sphere of social media. Call it conversation, call it opportunity, call it desire, it’s VAST.

We look forward to developing great relationships with all of you this year!


The Innovation Excellence Team

image credit: photo used with permission of Trey Ratcliff, www.stuckincustoms.com

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Innovation Quotes of the Week – Dec. 16, 2012Mari Anixter is Managing Editor for Innovation Excellence. She is a communications professional living in New Mexico.

Mari Anixter




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  1. Francisco MOYET-ORTIZ on December 31, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    simply, you ask yourself the numbers of personel related with bussinnes are graduated from ours campus… alots. isn’t it, the ask to you how many visioneer you know, few… there is the one of rthe keys why our economy is in the place it is…moy if we want to move the economy we must know where those gys are.

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